IELTS Reading Tips When Matching Features

The IELTS Reading Exam is arguably the least nerve-wracking component of the high-stakes test.

Unlike in the listening and speaking exams where you’re required to follow/participate in a conversation and determine/come up with answers immediately, the reading test allows you to proceed at your own pace. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s any less demanding.

In the reading exam, your time is in your hands. So, make sure you make every second count. Develop test strategies for its various task types during your IELTS training to maximize your limited time. This article focuses on the Matching Features section, its mechanics, and how to ace it.

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IELTS Reading Exam: Part 6—Matching Features

The IELTS Academic exam and IELTS General Training exam have the same format for this task type. Here’s what you need to know about the Matching Features section.

        ·         Matching Features assesses the candidate’s ability to determine the connections and relationships between the facts in the text and identify opinions and theories.

        ·         Here’s how it works: The test taker must read the text. Then, he/she must match pieces of information to a list of options that are lifted or discussed in the text.

        ·         Depending on the instructions, It is possible that…

o   …some options may be used more than once.
o   …some options may not be used at all.

·         The number of questions in this task type varies.

Want to get a more in-depth explanation of this task type? Want to answer accurate Matching Features practice tests? Enroll in the best IELTS review center in the Philippines.

Top Tips for Matching Features

Make sure your performance in this test type is on-point. Integrate the following tips to your Matching Features strategy for the best results.

        ·         Read the instructions. The only way you can know if you can use some options more than once is by reading the instructions. So, don’t just skim this part of the test. Take a minute to read and establish the section’s guidelines.

        ·         Take note of keywords and phrases when you read the text. Keep an eye out for names, dates, places, and other facts and figures. Underline or encircle them to make them stand out.

        ·         Read to understand. Many test takers prefer to read the options first then scanning for them when they go through the text. While this is a time-efficient strategy, it’s a bit tricky and risky to pull off. Here’s why.

Some key information are mentioned more than once in the text. And, they’re not always phrased the same way. Aside from this, you also have to pay attention to implicit and explicit details. Given these features, it’s best to read the text with the intention of understanding its contents rather than taking the shortcut approach. Hone your reading comprehension skills during your IELTS training.

        ·         Cross out the statements that you’ve already matched. It’ll help you keep track of your progress. If the instruction says that you can only use the options once, cross out the choices that you’ve already used as well to avoid repetitions.

Want to develop your approaches for the other task types of the test? Prepare with the IELTS review center in the Philippines to learn more useful strategies.


“IELTS Reading Matching Features Tutorial.” DCIELTS. Accessed June 13, 2018.

“IELTS READING TIP: Matching Features!” IELTS Essentials IDP Facebook. August 25, 2014. Accessed July 13, 2018.!/786408354735402/

“Matching Features.” IELTS Achieve. Accessed July 13, 2018.

Pell, Christopher. “IELTS Reading-Matching Names Tips and Strategy.” IELTS Advantage. Accessed July 13, 2018.

“Test Format in Detail.” IELTS. Accessed July 13, 2018.

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